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" But I was also a brat. I used to belong to a gang that went looking for fights with other gangs. "
" In a way Australia is like Catholicism. The company is sometimes questionable and the landscape is grotesque. But you always come back. "
" And I liked pluralist Australia. I got a taste for pluralist Australia. I like, I like Australians and I can't believe that they're going to go to hell because they tell a good dirty joke, you know. "
" And it is a folly to try to craft a novel for the screen, to write a novel with a screen contract in mind. "
" And so um, I knew that I really didn't want to be a priest and didn't want to be a celibate, though I could probably manage it. Um, and um, ultimately I left. "
" Thomas was my true name but everyone knew me as Mick, except my mother, who knew me as definitely Michael. "
" You know, so I was a weird eccentric kid but I did believe in the power of the word and of the word being made flesh I suppose, which again I suppose came from my temperament as well as my upbringing. "
" Um, what I found though about the Christian Brothers is this: that they were certainly muscular. "
" But in practice Australia - the pluralism of Australia - sorry the sectarianism to an extent stopped at the time you took your uniform off after coming home from school. "
" And I definitely wanted to be a writer, but I felt a duty now, having used up those educational resources, I felt a duty to the church and my parents to become a priest. "
" I was never any good at cricket thought I love it as a, as a sort of mystery. "
" So nonetheless given the importance that was placed on sport in Australia, I wanted to be part of that scene, particularly since I had felt very strongly in my early schooling being marginalised even in the Catholic school. "
" I must apologise because I know all writers have memories of being on the outer because it's the children on the side of the playground who become the dangerous writers. "
" Australia integrated the - brought on the ships and unleashed in the society the dogs of sectarianism, which had existed in other places - in Glasgow, in Liverpool and of course in Ireland, north and south. "
" My brother arrived some months after my father left. Um, and he ah, was thus eight years younger than me and it was um, you know, it was such a time that my mother probably had people wondering was it his. "
" And I was very interested in the priesthood. "
" So I was very close to ordination. I was delighted to be ordained a deacon, which is the last step between, before becoming a priest. But then it all fell apart. "
" I thought I'd definitely be a writer, whatever I did. "
" So I remember both medicine, because I frequently sick, particularly with asthma for which there was no proper treatment then, and in religion I had a strong sense of there being a patriarchy. "
" And I think my sexuality was heavily repressed by the church, by the, you know, the design of the mortal sins. "